For months, the brand from Trollhättan determined a part of my day. I'm blogging for Saab, touring with Saab, and I'm suffering with Saab and the staff. For Saab, I have taken my vacation and hit me the nights around the ears. I am loyal, loyal to the brand. But that does not rule out that I see many things critically.
It now seems that we are nearing the end of a long road. It seems like a last minute rescue is still possible. Since I know Saab and the history of the brand quite well, I don't want to call that absurd. Probably just the pain and suffering has to be very high that the parties are ready to swallow smaller or larger toads.
It's the decision battle. The term "battle" is appropriate because it works with tricks and punches below the belt. Tough. The press and also the blogs are used for their own purposes, the term propaganda would be the right one.
For me, some of the parties have achieved credibility potential since Sunday, which is heading towards “0”, and certainly with some fans. Reports were deliberately spread, but expectations were disappointed.
Whatever happens, we only know one part. Even our very good contacts do not help. In Beijing you want Saab at almost any price. Contrary to reason, some 100 millions have been invested. Beijing will not give up Saab that fast. Or maybe the Chinese have a plan B.
The American side is even worse off. If you send Saab bankrupt, license money and the stately mountain of preferred shares are lost. There, too, there are some 100 million that are at stake. GM is an association of accountants. Losses and lost profits hurt, even in Detroit. If the lights go out in Sweden, GM will be the culprit. Whether that's true or not. The big buck goes to the Potomac, a little buck to Holland and Stockholm. Damage to the image of the European business, which is not on stable footing, is certain. And costs a lot of money in the medium term.
The role of Spyker, or Swedish Automobile, or should I say Victor Muller, is no better. This is not about enthusiasm for Saab, it's about tough self-interest. With borrowed money, he bought a manufacturer who urgently needed investment. Without strong partners in the background. A company with no chance. Let us forget Antonov. His pockets were never deep enough to fund Saab permanently. For Muller, it's about the “deal”. He means the “deal” of his life that he is now fighting for. It is legitimate. But Saab bears the damage.
The third, or better, the fourth party. They really do exist. I just have to look at the daily access list of the blog. All parties read along. Saab, General Motors, visitors from China and Russia. Of course, the legendary third party. My personal hope on the horizon. If Saab goes into bankruptcy, this party could save the location in Sweden. Because she is financially strong, needs no Chinese, no Dutch and certainly not technology from Detroit.
Just disaster, actually
Has Saab ended after the disaster of the past few weeks? No, the brand lives and it lives in different ways. Many Saab drivers have migrated and a new wave is currently announcing itself in daily emails. Unfortunately, I cannot counter this, because where are the arguments? Saab drivers who migrate always come back. Usually, an old, used Saab comes into the family as a third-party car or hobby object.
Saab mutates, at least in part, into a youngtimer brand. A friend of mine does the same. In the next few days we will be on the plane and get a young timer that will keep us both busy over the winter. I can not wait for it!
But it gets better. Because still, that's amazing in the fireworks of negative news, readers and fans want to order a new Saab. SaabBlog.net searches for new cars from Sweden every day. Keywords such as “order Saab”, “buy new Saab” or “when does the 9-5 estate car come” are used every day.
The traders will now probably cry in the eyes, the guys at Saab Germany and me anyway.
The investors will be happy to read this, the “third party” too, and if you want to know more in Beijing, you can send me an email ...